A day in the life #10 (2011)

Good morning world. And hello mosquito net. How I wish we didn’t have to sleep with each other.

First job is to get the fire going. Some embers from my neighbour makes life easier. I was never a boy scout so am rubbish at things like this.

On goes the water. Today is washing-my-body day. These are less frequent than I would like.

I find it amazing I can get online from the villages. It makes my life so much easier.

First time check. I was up at around 7am.

And now to wash…. the house has a shower and sink and cistern… but no running water or even much plumbing. I make do with tipping warm water over my head.

The night before I’d bought some 180kg of maize and these two girls were ferrying it up to my house. This’ll comprise around 15% of the food I will be distributing in my 3 weeks here. One kilo feeds about 5 people and costs about $0.25 USD

Meanwhile Mneno has arrived – she does my cooking and cleaning cos I’m lazy and with labour as cheap as it is I’d be a fool not to use someone.

The last of the maize arrives

Enoch pops around for breakfast – he should be at school but didnt go cos it was raining, which is a bit of a lame excuse.

Tea and chapati. I bought 3 similar themed mugs the other day – I like the idea of having Christmas themed stuff in a hot climate.

Children come to my house constantly to play. I am staying at a school for the blind which these two guys attend but they are the sighted children of school workers.

After breakfast I head to the Adult Blind Centre which is probably the main project for the blind in the centre. Ive been involved with stuff here for 12 years now. This meeting went on for 3.5hours and we discussed the outcome of projects I’ve set up in past years and we make plans for the forthcoming year. The main one of which is to build chicken houses for all 11 families so they can raise their levels of self sufficiency further. We also make plans to get them 440kg of maize plus seeds for their crops.

Timestamp from mid-meeting

I get a ride back to my house. Its only about 4km or so but firstly it is hot and secondly I am always pushed for time here.

Lunch consists of bread dipped in a yoghurt sauce with veg bits in it.

More children. Abdul, Morde and Halima. I always bring Bopits out with me as they are a lot of fun and also great with blind kids, although I think all the children in this ADIML are sighted.

Ive known the girl on the left since she was a new born. She likes to play silly games and it keeps me amused.

More visitors – my house is never quiet for long. On the left is the headmaster of a neighbouring primary school. I bought out a dozen Bristol City football shirts and a ball and we are making plans for a football tournament where the winning team gets the gear. Seated on the right is a blind teacher from the school.

Next up are two batches of 10 children. They come from two different schools and are some of the poorest there.

They have come to get fitted for uniforms. Growing up all my clothes were off the shelf – yet these guys get bespoke uniforms. Something seems not quite right about that. Anyhow, I’m also supplying them with shoes and socks. The tailor on the right is Mamma Degera and is the mother of the girl in green above. She will be working flat out for me for the next two weeks getting everything made up before I leave.

More fittings. This kid is called Barracka. It is a common name here and not surprisingly their nicknames are now Obama.

Next to visit my house is Emmanuel. A blind shopkeeper from a neighbouring village called Hombolo. I’ve given him some support in previous years to help his business along and this year I am helping with getting his 3 acres weeded during the rainy season and ensuring he has enough food to last until harvest.

This photo was a little random. This kid wanted to know what my tripod was so I did a demonstration on my camera.

Dinner time. It isnt hard to find extra mouths to feed. We had potatoes and goat mixed with tomato and chilli. There was no power, hence the candle.

Enock again. For pudding we had pineapple, banana and mango. One of the kids had bought me two mangoes and a weird looking pear as a gift. Its always really touching when people give me stuff.

Gaston crashed out on the chair with Weird Al Yankovich blasting into his ears from my iPod.

As the night arrives this little critter pops out. He eats the insects so he and I are friends.

Final time check and then to bed. Tomorrow it happens all over again.


About Imo & Tom Feilding

I'm in my 30s and work for the University of Bristol, I regularly visit Buigiri Village slapbang in the centre of Tanzania in East Africa. It is a very poor semi-desert area. I spend much of my time and money helping individuals improve their situation and I write about it on here.
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